1912 $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle NGC MS65. Collectors, numismatists and dealers may not know that the 1912 design is actually a first year-of-issue coin. Not as evident as the Motto ‘In God We Trust’ which differentiated the designs of Liberty gold in 1866 and Indian gold in 1908, the 1912 Double Eagles (Philadelphia only since the Denver and San Francisco mint did not strike double eagles in this year) actually have 48 stars. The extra two stars signify the addition of the states of New Mexico and Arizona into the Union, the last such event in our nation’s history until Alaska and Hawaii would join in 1959. These two small stars were added below the date near the oak leaves rather than rearranging with configuration the remaining 46 stars which were left unmoved.
The Philadelphia Mint struck a modest quantity of 149,750 circulation strikes plus a delicate number of the rare matte proofs. Today, NGC has seen and encapsulated a total of only 17 coins as Gem Mint State-65 with three finer (1 65+ and 2 MS66’s). The NGC published price is $26,000. The average auction price of the six examples we saw in 2016 was $21,620.
A few minor tics on the advancing leg of Liberty as well as some hidden with the rays and a couple of tics within the reverse rays and wing on the reverse keep this coin from a higher grade. Otherwise it still maintains it’s full mint bloom. We note a light copper spot on the obverse left field between rays 7 and 8 for accuracies sake.